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Peatlands in the Kyoto Protocol and their potential role in post-2012 climate change legislation


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Peatlands in the Kyoto Protocol and their potential role in post-2012 climate change legislation

  1. 1. Christian Dunn & Chris Freeman<br />Peatlands in the Kyoto Protocol and their potential role in<br />post-2012 climate change legislation<br />PRIFYSGOL BANGOR / BANGOR UNIVERSITY<br />
  2. 2. Background & organisations<br />Original legislation<br />Peatlands in the Kyoto Protocol<br />Importance of peatlands<br />Future legislation<br />Value of peatlands<br />PRIFYSGOL BANGOR / BANGOR UNIVERSITY<br />Christian Dunn & Chris Freeman. 2011<br />
  3. 3. PRIFYSGOL BANGOR / BANGOR UNIVERSITY<br />The challenge<br />1992Discussions at the United Nations Conference on Environmental Development (UNCED) on the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) leads to UN Framework on Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) treaty.<br />“Stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”<br />Christian Dunn & Chris Freeman. 2011<br />
  4. 4. PRIFYSGOL BANGOR / BANGOR UNIVERSITY<br />The Kyoto Protocol<br />1997<br />Signatories of UNFCCC devise the Kyoto Protocol.<br />Binding targets for cutting GHG emissions.<br /><ul><li>5.2% cut for Annex I Parties of CO2, CH4 and N2O between 2008-2012 compared to 1990 levels.</li></ul>Cuts to be made primarily through fossil fuel reduction. <br /><ul><li>Parties must also increase emission removal from ecosystems which sequester carbon from the atmosphere: land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF).</li></ul>Christian Dunn & Chris Freeman. 2011<br />
  5. 5. PRIFYSGOL BANGOR / BANGOR UNIVERSITY<br />The Kyoto Mechanisms<br />Annex I Parties can add or subtract from their initial assigned amount by trading Kyoto units with other Parties in accordance with three market-based mechanisms.<br />Emissions Trading (ET)<br />The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)<br />Joint Implementation (JI)<br />A national GHG inventory (GHGI) and registry to track holdings of Kyoto units is required to ensure total emissions can be compared to the initial assigned amount. LULUCF activities can be included in inventory.<br />Christian Dunn & Chris Freeman. 2011<br />
  6. 6. PRIFYSGOL BANGOR / BANGOR UNIVERSITY<br />Peatlands & Kyoto Protocol<br />Management of active peatlands and peatland restoration are not explicitly included in original list of LULUCF optional activities. <br />IPCC guidelines state peatlands can only feature in a Party’s national GHGI when the area is managed for forestry, grazing, cultivation, extraction or development. <br />Any emission savings by management of active peatland or restoration do not count towards meeting a Party’s Kyoto commitment. <br />Christian Dunn & Chris Freeman. 2011<br />
  7. 7. PRIFYSGOL BANGOR / BANGOR UNIVERSITY<br />Why peatlands?<br />Freshwater wetlands which accumulate partially decayed organic material (peat). <br />Rate of production exceeds decomposition.<br />Currently considered net carbon sinks on the global level<br /><ul><li>Cover 3% of the world’s surface yet contain 455 Pg of carbon.
  8. 8. 1/3 of all C in the soil.
  9. 9. 2/3 of atmospheric C pool.
  10. 10. Twice amount of C in world’s forest biomass</li></ul>Christian Dunn & Chris Freeman. 2011<br />
  11. 11. PRIFYSGOL BANGOR / BANGOR UNIVERSITY<br />COP 15, 16 & 17<br />2009: At UNFCCC’s Conference of the Parties meeting in Copenhagen (COP-15) it was agreed in principle that Parties could voluntarily include “wetland re-wetting” as a LULUCF option in any post-2012 international protocol<br /><ul><li>2010 : At COP-16 it was further agreed that it should be possible for Parties to reduce their emissions by rewetting drained peatlands.
  12. 12. Full details were not agreed (eg mandatory or voluntary) further discussions are expected at COP-17 in 2011.</li></ul>Christian Dunn & Chris Freeman. 2011<br />
  13. 13. PRIFYSGOL BANGOR / BANGOR UNIVERSITY<br />REDD<br />Peatlands also given support at COP-16 through an agreed text for the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation mechanism (REDD).<br />Offers opportunities for the protection and restoration of peatlands in developing countries by offering financial incentives to reduce GHG emissions by better management of forest resources. <br />Projects create quantifiable units which can be used in a form of carbon market in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. <br />Christian Dunn & Chris Freeman. 2011<br />
  14. 14. PRIFYSGOL BANGOR / BANGOR UNIVERSITY<br />The future<br />GHG emissions from peatlands look set to feature more prominently in the Kyoto Protocol and any successor for the second commitment phase. <br />National GHGI<br /><ul><li> Reduce the amount of emission cuts that Annex I Parties have to make from other sectors, eg industry.</li></ul>Carbon offsetting<br /><ul><li> Biosequestration projects using peatlands could create carbon credits to be used in carbon markets.</li></ul>Christian Dunn & Chris Freeman. 2011<br />
  15. 15. PRIFYSGOL BANGOR / BANGOR UNIVERSITY<br />Peatlands price tag<br />The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) speculated the value of inland wetlands – which include types of peatlands– at between $1,000 to $45,000 per ha per year. <br />TEEB did not take fully into account recent and pending UNFCCC decisions. The introduction of a carbon market and accounting system involving peatlands could see this value rise even further.<br />Geoengineering to encourage carbon sequestration. <br />Total value:$400,000 million to $18 billion<br />Christian Dunn & Chris Freeman. 2011<br />
  16. 16. PRIFYSGOL BANGOR / BANGOR UNIVERSITY<br />Further information<br />Taken from<br />Dunn, C & Freeman, C. Peatlands: our greatest source of carbon credits? Carbon Management. 2(3), 289-301 (2011).<br />Acknowledgments<br />This research was funded by the Knowledge and Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) which is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) through the European Union’s Convergence programme administered by the Welsh Assembly Government. We would also like to thank George Meyrick of Energy and Environment Business Services for supporting this research.<br />Christian Dunn & Chris Freeman. 2011<br />
  17. 17. PRIFYSGOL BANGOR / BANGOR UNIVERSITY<br />Key references<br />Billett MF, Charman DJ, Clark JM et al. Carbon balance of UK peatlands: current state of knowledge and future research challenges. Climate Res. 45, 13-29 (2010).<br />Dunn, C & Freeman, C. Peatlands: our greatest source of carbon credits? Carbon Management. 2(3), 289-301 (2011).<br />Freeman C, Ostle N, Kang H. An enzymic 'latch' on a global carbon store - A shortage of oxygen locks up carbon in peatlands by restraining a single enzyme. Nature, 409(6817), 149-149 (2001)<br />Gorham E. Northern Peatlands - Role in the carbon-cycle and probable responses to climatic warming. Ecol App. 1(2), 182-195 (1991).<br /> Joosten H, Couwenberg J: Are emission reductions from peatlands MRV-able? Wetlands International. (2009).<br />Kayranli B, Scholz M, Mustafa A, Hedmark A. Carbon Storage and Fluxes within Freshwater Wetlands: a Critical Review. Wetlands. 30, 111-124 (2010).<br /> Lindsay R. Peatbogs and carbon: a critical synthesis to inform policy development in oceanic peat bog conservation and restoration in the context of climate change. Environmental Research Group. University of East London. (2010) <br /> United Nations. Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. (1998) <br /> UNFCCC. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. ( 1992) <br /> UNFCCC. Kyoto Protocol Reference Manual. On Accounting for Emissions and Assigned Amount. (2008)<br /> UN-REDD. UN-REDD Programme Framework Document - UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD). (2008) <br /> Worrall F, Evans MG, Bonn A, Reed MS, Chapman D, Holden J. Can carbon offsetting pay for upland ecological restoration? Scie Total Env, 408, 26-36 (2009)<br />Christian Dunn & Chris Freeman. 2011<br />